In my years of working in the non-profit sector, I have noticed that there seem to be two different types of non-profit organizations: those which contain a structure in which deserving employees can be promoted and advance their careers, and those that do not. What are the pros and cons of each type of organization?
If you have been following this blog and “know” me by now, you’ll probably guess that I am in favor of organizations that have the ability and the structure to promote employees who excel and have proven that they can take on more than the responsibilities for which they were initially hired. When I worked in the for-profit sector (in the US), the organization I worked for had a relatively good structure for promotion for employees who excelled. (They also had annual reviews, during which if you got a good review you received at least a symbolic raise, if not more!) I have worked in non-profit organizations both in the US and in Israel. My own personal experience is that the NFPs in the US (some at least) do have a structure for employee advancement, while many in Israel do not. In Israel, from what I have seen, you can get more and more (and more) responsibilities, but your title will not change, nor will you be compensated financially for your additional responsibilities.
Again, this is what I have experienced personally. I am interested to know what people out there think, and your experiences. Are there benefits to not having a structure for advancement (i.e. a staff of workers all on the same “level”, under one manager)?
From what I have seen, non-profits want loyalty. They try to create a “familial” atmosphere, which in many respects is great. But then if a person wants to advance their career and no opportunities exist to do so within the organization, they are forced to look elsewhere. When employees leave, management can tend to take this personally, due to the familial atmosphere. I think that if a non-profit organization really wants to keep good employees, they must have a structure for promotion (even if it just means changing employees’ titles every couple years to reflect their added responsibilities), and non-profit employees should certainly be financially compensated for added job responsibilities.
What do you think?